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PinnacleCart Interview: Craig Fox, VP Product Development and Marketing

PinnacleCart Interview: Craig Fox, VP Product Development and Marketing
November 21
20:18 2008

This year, FindMyHost had the pleasure of meeting with the team at PinnacleCart at LT Pact and HostingCon.

While most online entrepreneurs have dabbled in online shopping carts, and our staff have all worked with other variations in the past.  it’s finally nice to see a well polished and if needed hosting solution available.

This week we sat down and chatted with Craig Fox, VP of Product Development & Marketing at PinnacleCart.  We wanted to get the ins and outs of the company, its product and what’s on the horizon.

Craig, thanks for joining us.  Can you tell us the brief history of Pinnacle Cart?

Pinnacle Cart was established in 2002 with the purpose of fulfilling a void in the ecommerce marketplace for a marketing driven shopping cart application.

What do you offer your customers that are unique to your company?

Unlike most e-Commerce applications Pinnacle Cart was designed from the ground up with three goals in mind for our feature set.

– Increase organic traffic to the user website.
– Increase the order percentage of site visitors
– Increase the average transaction amount.
. Most products on the market simply take an order; our application assists clients in driving more traffic and revenue.

What is the most challenging aspect to offering E-Commerce solutions?

Working with third-party payment and shipping vendors. This market is very dynamic and as these companies respond to both compliance issues (PCI) and the needs of their customers, we working with these organizations to make sure we are providing our customers all the tools these organizations empower their customer with.

What is it that makes Pinnacle Cart a competitive company in the shopping cart market?

First we have a stable, easy-to-use, feature rich ecommerce application that we are constantly improving to meet the needs of our customers and the changing environment. Second, we are one of the only companies to offer 100% US-based support. The quality of our product combined with its ease of use generates a very low volume of support allowing us to keep our support team in the US.

As a follow up to that question, do you feel support based outside the US is inferior?

We aren’t saying that, but many of our converted customers dealt with support overseas and the complaint was the delay in response times and communication issues. You are dealing with a very technical product and therefore the semantics of a conversation are extremely important. Our industry has been plagued with bad support for years. You have many companies that offer a “free” download and then charge for support. That statement in itself is a contradictory business model because where is the motivation to make a superior product when your business makes money on support? We don’t want support tickets and therefore strive to put the out the best product. We have a very different business philosophy and the market is telling us it is the right direction.

What new features have Pinnacle Cart added for its customers in the last few months?

Below are just a couple of the improvements we’ve added

Free Live Chat
Product image Zoom, Magnify and Expand
Gift Certificate
USPS Printing Labels
Inventory by Attributes
Layered Navigation
Encrypted Credit Card Storage
Wish List / Stored Carts
Google Checkout

What would you say is Pinnacle Cart #1 asset to its customer base?

Well of course the fact that the software is so easy to use, but also our dedicated customer support team. If any of our clients have an issue, the can contact us 24/7 to resolve the issue. Sometimes businesses starting out don’t understand just how important it is to get a live person on the phone to help you resolve your issues. Our support team knows our product and will do everything possible to make sure you don’t lose a sale.

Where do you see Pinnacle Cart and the E-Commerce industry in three years?

It’s really tough to say where the industry is going but I know we’re starting to move away from the desktop. Imagine a potential customer shopping at their local store, seeing a product on the shelf they want to purchase, scanning the bar code on their phone and seeing a list of all the local and online stores that carry the product with prices, location and the ability to purchase. For business to succeed we need to start creating tools that help our clients get in front of customers no matter where they are, not just when they are in front of their computer or on their store. And we are working to do that.

Who are some of your famous clients?

National Public Radio
Old Guys Rule
American Body Building

Many of the nationally known brands using Pinnacle Cart have asked us to not to use them in our advertising, so I can’t tell you all of them out of respect for our clients.

Can you explain the difference between the hosted and licensed versions and what would you recommend for a new business?

Sure. Our hosted version allows clients to use all the features of the cart without having to worry about any of the technical aspects of running software on the server. We set it up and make sure your store is available 24/7. For our more technically inclined clients I recommend our licensed product which allows you to license the software and install it on their own server. While I’d recommend the hosted version of the cart for new businesses, most clients prefer the licensed version. Of course you can move between the two offerings at any time.

Do you offer 24/7 or 9-5 M-F support?

24/7 support is included with any new license. It is also important to note that our support is unlimited in terms of questions. Again, this goes to our philosophy and we aren’t afraid of unlimited tickets because the product doesn’t generate support. Be wary of the per incident support plans as many of our newer customers thought we were more expensive until they started paying for support.

Do you charge your clients for support?  If so, please explain.

We offer all new clients 30 days of unlimited phone support and a year of unlimited email support with a license purchase. Our hosted clients enjoy 30 days of unlimited phone and unlimited email support for as long as they are a customer. You can purchase additional phone support for a year for $199. If you want to continue support after a year there is a small subscription fee depending if you’re interested in phone, email or both.

Do you offer a money back guarantee?

Of course. Our goal is to make sure every customer is satisfied with our application so we give everyone a 30 day money back guarantee.

Thanks for taking the time to speak with us today Craig.  For anyone who is interested in testing out PinnacleCart visit www.pinnaclecart.com today.

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